Rutgers scholar Hooshang Amirahmadi is available for commentary on the latest developments concerning recent tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

Amirahmadi is an expert on Iranian affairs at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and a former Iranian presidential candidate.

He said, “The situation in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman is dangerously close to a conflict. The militaries, particularly those of Iran and the United States, are very close to each other and incidental encounters are possible. The United States is not prepared and do not as yet have a plan to attack Iran. The U.S., instead, is trying to build a case against Iran to build an international coalition for a possible attack in nine months to a year, closer to the re-election of President Trump.

“Iran on the other hand is not so patient. The Islamic regime is under crippling economic sanctions and knows well that if it sits back and does nothing, it will collapse under sanctions and growing domestic political pressures.  Under this condition, Tehran wishes to escalate the tension in the hope that the U.S. will attack sooner than later. An earlier attack will be in Iran's best interest while a delayed attack will be most devastating for it.

“Iran is also threatening to increase uranium enrichment, has said it will attack ships carrying oil of oil countries in the region, and will do its best to even close the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, from which over 70 percent of world oil passes through.”

Amirahmadi is the founder and president of the American-Iranian council, and was a candidate in Iran’s 2005, 2013 and 2017 presidential elections.  He is a former director of Rutgers University­–New Brunswick’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the author of Revolution and Economic Transition: The Iranian Experience, and can be reached at [email protected].